An administrative support
staff is the backbone of every thriving business.
Why then do so many employers classify administrative
staff (e.g., secretaries, paralegals, clerks,
receptionists) as salaried workers and deny
them overtime pay? The
answer is simple: greed.
Until recent years, administrative support
positions in law, marketing, real estate,
mortgage, financial/banking and a host of
other industries were traditionally paid a
flat salary, without regard to overtime pay
for overtime hours worked. For some companies,
overtime class action lawsuits changed all
that; for other companies, the educational
process is working more slowly. Since underpaid
employees can sue for at least four years
of back pay, you would expect more change to
have come by now.
The law says that, while every worker is
presumed entitled to overtime pay, administrative
employees can be denied overtime pay only
if they spend more than one-half
of their time applying truly independent discretion
to their work, and not just on minor decisions.
Moreover, this is only one of the factors
that employers must prove in order to deny
administrative employees overtime pay, and
it is a difficult factor to satisfy. In our
law firm’s experience, less than 1 out
of 10 administrative support positions can
be legally treated as salaried positions,
with no overtime pay requirement. The other
9 out of 10 administrative support workers
should be compensated for all overtime worked
and should received all the benefits of employment
such as full uninterrupted meal and rest periods.
Roughly 9 out of 10 workers are entitled
to overtime pay. Think about it.
The legal system is set up to “level
the playing field” and give workers
the power to correct workplace abuses. Scott
Cole & Associates has served California’s
workforce for many years as one of
the state’s most respected workers’
rights law firms and has recovered massive and record-setting
settlements for employees for workplace abuses.
For a confidential discussion of your rights against
a former or current employer and/or to submit
a claim, contact
us for more information.